Few cars have aged as gracefully as the exquisite Ferrari Dino, and it’s hard to believe that this iconic car celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To celebrate that milestone we try out an immaculate and much-loved example.

The Dino’s history has been well covered elsewhere, but a brief recap may be useful. It was named after Enzo Ferrari’s beloved son Alfredo (Dino), who sadly died of kidney failure in 1956, when he and famed engine designer Vittorio Jano were working on a new V6 racing engine. Ferrari continued the engine’s development as a memorial to his son, and gave it Alfredo’s nickname, a name that found its way onto racing cars and, later, road cars.

By any measure the Dino engine was a resounding success. It took Phil Hill and John Surtees to one Formula One World Championship each, in 1961 and 1964 respectively, and later powered the radical Lancia Stratos to World Rally Championships in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

For the Formula Two class, engines had to be based on a production unit, with at least 500 built. Enzo Ferrari wasn’t set up for those kinds of numbers, and had no desire to be, so he partnered with Fiat and Weber. Fiat gained the right to use the engine in its Dino sports cars, Weber supplied three of its carburettors for every engine and Ferrari got his engine homologated.

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